Paradise

Hold your breath,

Make a wish,

Count to three…-Willy Wonka

 

I once discovered what can only be explained as the last remains of a rare Juracic era dinosaur that was probably as tall as any tree that ever existed. Who cares that I was only 6 and it was in my backyard. The discovery was witnessed only by my brother, who, after a few minutes of discussion and debate, agreed with my findings and promptly congratulated me for my fantastic discovery. Of course, National Geographic would want to take pictures to document the once in a lifetime finding, and my brother and I were more than obliged to offer any insight in naming of the newly unearthed beast. This wasn’t our first, nor would it be our last contribution to society, over the years we would go on to perform many more adventures and make thousands more newsworthy discoveries, all in the name of science!!

I am not lost on the sense of magic that occurs on a daily basis in the mind and hearts of all those who have refused to grow up, nor am I surprised at how often it is missed by those who have. I can see the wheels turning inside of Jack’s little head when he is working with a set of legos and the tongue sticking out lets me know the level of concentration is set at high. What will it be I ask? Perhaps a race car capable of driving  as fast as any car that ever existed, and jumping over an entire ocean? Maybe a spaceship that will carry him to the furthest reaches of the universe and find that the little green Martians we heard so much about are in fact blue, and are from Saturn, and surf the rings like we surf the waves here on earth. How many rocks can two small hands collect, each one a precious jewel from the Nile, that will make a fine necklace with just the right colored yarn.

Early mornings are my favorite time of the entire day, just before the sun decides to rise and the world wakes up. This is when I still feel the magic of the moonlight dancing about the house, like Jack Frost nipping at your nose, the Man in the Moon has paid a visit to my house and left behind wonderful dreams in the head of my little one, and myself. This is when I love to write, when the freshness of the air and innocence of the day are at their highest. I often check on Jack upon my rising, not so much that I am concerned about his well being, but maybe I can catch a glimpse of the animated movements one makes when they are still in the magical realm of a dream.  I know he won’t be able to tell me the details, but I don’t really care, I am just happy it occurred, happy to know that he still thinks of dragons, and ninja, and believes that he can be both.

I still dream, even though my dreams have changed a bit over the years, I still wake up in the middle of the night and think about the silliness of it all. I look outside and thank the Man in the Moon for not forgetting about me, for allowing be to still be the kid that once jumped the entire Grand Canyon on his bike and once fought off an entire army of vampires to save the princess. I still think about the dreams I had as a kid and wonder if Jack has the same ones, the ones that take you to another world and make you more powerful than the greatest socerior. I love to watch him watch movies, the intensity, the focus, the wonder of it all, and wonder if he is filing away how the prince saves the kingdom, just in case he needs to pull that trick out of his magic hat someday.

I sit back, and step back to when I believed in the power of my imagination, and still to this day I can be found staring up at the stars and wonder if technology will allow this man in his old age, to be a kid once again and fly to the heavens and float among the stars someday. I still see the sun rise each morning and think about what fun and exciting adventure lies ahead, what mountain can be climbed and what spell can be broken. As an adult now, I am not lost on the hustle and bustle of my “real” life, the mortgage payment and the gas bill that needs to be paid. But I still believe in magic, I believe in fairy tales and make believe, and I believe in love. The moon may never be my landing spot, but I will forever hold the belief that at one time in my life I would live there. And the realization doesn’t make me sad, the sadness comes when I see others lose their love, and then go on to tell others they should too. If Jack wants to be the greatest pirate to sail the Seven Seas, I command it to be true, and we will ride the paddle boats as long and as far as we need to for the story to play out in his head. I will forever be his first mate, his co-pilot, his genie, and I will grant him as many wishes as he asks, for the wish a child makes is covered in pure imagination, made of love and is more precious than any stone ever discovered. I will be more than happy to draw another shark, be a horse, and build another rocket, for the love of adventure I see in my son is then transferred back to me, and I am given another chance, to be a kid again myself and believe in the power of thought. 

I may not be able to give my son the world, but I can certainly pass on to him the love and passion to see it and save it. I can make sure he believes in magic, and in return, believe in people, believe that given the opportunity, people are inherently good and want good and can do good. Even the caged dog will bark and bite when released, but show them love, show them that it is okay to be okay, and they too will start to believe again, they too will chase the rabbit, and they too will squirm in the magic of the morning moonlight, dreaming of the chase, dreaming of the adventure, believing of freedom.

I am much older now than I was as the kid that discovered that dinosaur long ago in my backyard. I realize now that it was just some old bark off a dying tree, but I don’t care now, like I didn’t care then. The heart and the mind, when working together can do some amazing things, things that make the believer a better person, and the world a better place. Maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to just go to a park and swing on the monkey bars one more time, maybe you should go ahead and buy a pack of bubblicious bubble gum (grape of course) and see if you can still blow the world’s largest bubble. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to believe in something again. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to make a wish, and still believe it can come true.

I am excited to see what adventures will arise with Jack, I hope he will never unfriend the man in the moon, that he will continue to believe in the magic in the moonlight, I still do. I still have many adventures left in this body, and many more stories to tell, and to find. As a kid I wanted to save the world from aliens, from bad guys, from monsters, I just have come to discover that the monsters I fought as a kid are now called oppression, hunger, and poverty. I will grab my hat and whip like Indiana Jones, and although my goal will not be to find the lost ark, it will be something far more rewarding. My reward is to see that some kid other than my own, will maybe learn to love again, learn to dream again, and perhaps go on to live a wonderful life full of adventure too. Because that’s what we all want, that’s what we all need, just a chance, a chance to be a kid, to allow ourselves to believe in something that isn’t tangible, because to allow someone to dream is to give them power in a world of sadness. I do not know when and where my next adventure will be, but I am excited about it, I am excited to show Jack the pictures when I get back and teach him how to be a genie one day too. 

 

“If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it, anything you want to, do it…wanna change the world? There’s nothing to it” – Willy Wonka

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